Elina Svitolina 3R interview

Interviews

Q. How good does it feel to come through that match? What do you think was the difference there in kind of manufacturing the comeback?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, it was great fight today, I think for both of us. I think we left everything on court. It was very hot, actually. You know, last night when I checked the weather, it was 20 degrees, max, so didn't really expect it was going to be that hot. Of course we played a long match, so, yeah, I'm very pleased that I could, yeah, get the win today.

Q. What was wrong with your shoulder? Was it hurting? Is it something new or something you carried on court with you?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, it's some issues with that before, but we'll see. I have one day off till my next match. Yeah, we'll see how it goes.

Q. It was hurting particularly when you were serving more than when you were hitting, or...
ELINA SVITOLINA: It was hurting...

Q. You had a chance to close it out, but then you let her back in. How did you regroup?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, as you said, you know, I had my chance to play, to finish the match, and on 5-3. She played a very solid game. She returned really good, and, you know, I served really two big serves on 30-all. She was there. She was on time. So it was very tough to close on that game. But I was just trying to fight and trying to earn another chance, and I got it on actually on 6-5, right?

Yeah, I was just trying to earn my chance and I got it and was really happy I could step up.

Q. There is a chance you could play Elise Mertens in the next round. Your thoughts on that?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, we played couple of times. We played in Canada last year and also here. It's another tough battle, and there is no easy matches here. Gonna enjoy tonight, my win, and see – now I have time to prepare.

Q. Would you prefer to have her than Madison to get revenge? Because she beat you last year here in the quarters.
ELINA SVITOLINA: We have had tough matches, both players. Don't have any preference, to be fair. You know, I'm not thinking so much about it now.

Q. Elise, what are her strengths?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I'm playing against her, so, I mean –  she's a solid player in general because she's a top, what, 15? She been playing some great tennis. She been beating some top players. You have to be all-around player, to be consistent, to win tournaments, to beat top players. She's quite a solid player.

Q. You said on court that you wanted to die or win. You were pretty close to dying there Love-3. It was hot. Your shoulder was hurting. How close were you to dying?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Very close, I would say (smiling). Because it was very hot, but I always think that, you know, I mean, this situation when I'm almost about to die, I think, okay, there is an opponent across the net, and also struggling also in the same situation, also run the same amount of hours on the court. So I try to, you know, think that way and I'm not alone here in hell (smiling).

I'm practicing for those kind of moments, and I always believe in my physical strength.

Q. Nice moments between you and Zhang Shuai after the match, and it's not common we see a player walk over to the other changeover chair. Can you talk about why you did that?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I think tennis match is a tennis match. You finish the match. Of course everyone wants to win as bad as the other person, but it's done. She's a very nice person. I played with her in Tie Break Tens and we had a good time. We practice sometimes.

So, you know, it's not only about tennis here. I think it's very important to be a person and to be, you know, open. You know, that's what I am, you know. It's not like a big deal for me, but, you know, when someone is hurting, it's normal to help.

Yeah, it's not only about tennis, I'd say.

Q. Today I'm sure is very hot on the court, but it feels a little cool for the fans. The temperatures can get even hotter here. Are you concerned, you and your team are maybe going to work and get you prepared if the temperatures get even worse than today?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Of course you preparing for hot weather each game quite the same. But I think it was quite surprising for both of us today to see that it was that hot and the sun was, like, burning, I would say.

You have to always be ready for the hot weather here in Australia, because, you know, the sun is very strong and on that particular court, you know, when you play at 12:00, you toss the ball, one side, you don't see at all.

That's why, you know, you have to be ready for everything, yeah, for each match just 100 per cent ready.

Q. Who was more nervous at the end, you or Gaël?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think you have been in those kind of situations, too, so I think we both been pretty chill, you know.

Q. What was the biggest threat that she brought to you today, especially in the first set? Was it her aggressiveness or what?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think she's a good player. She strikes the ball very good, and I missed my chances. I was leading 4-2. So, you know, I didn't take them and she played some great tennis. Yeah, she took the advantage of being more aggressive than me, and I think this was, yeah, that's what made a difference in the first set, and then, you know, I tried to regroup. And in the end, you know, I was happy that I could get back in the match.

Q. If you face Madison Keys in the next round, can you just talk through the challenges that she presents?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I don't really want to think about it now, but we all know she hits the ball very strong. It's not a big surprise for anyone. Have to be ready for those kind of balls. Yeah, we'll see.

Q. This match today seemed to be kind of similar to the way it was long and grueling like all of your matches in Singapore a couple of months ago. I was interested, do you still think back to that? It was last season, but is that something in your mind you can draw on when you play tough matches like this or have you kind of left that behind and it's a new season?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, actually, I thought about it today. When I lost the first set, I thought, okay, I had these kind of matches in Singapore, and I went through them with a win. So that's why I'm just gonna be out there, stay solid and the best line, and try to earn my chances. And in the end, you know, it worked.

So definitely that Singapore tournament, as I already said before, gave me a lot of confidence in that particular area. Yeah, that's the way I have to play, and, yeah, that's it.

Q. You have a tattoo, I see here on your hand. Any particular meaning?
ELINA SVITOLINA: This is the carpe diem tattoo.